Kicking off the year 1394/start of spring with an all-new blog layout, a bit of Iranian culture, and of course, a massive giveaway. Because how can you say happy new years without cash?

Iranian New Years, quite simply, is a combination of all of your best holidays in the West: we color eggs, read poetry, clean things, buy things, go on picnics, play with fireworks, jump over fire, eat incessantly, and spend time with family and friends. For 13 days.

Nowruz, new year, Iran, iranian, persian new year, nooruz

Iranian New Years (Nooruz) has been observed in Iran and neighboring countries for thousands of years and celebrates the new life and growth that marks the first day of spring. While some aspects of Nooruz are based in Zoroastrian tradition, it is a secular holiday celebrated by any and all faiths.

The Wednesday before Nooruz is called Chahar Shanbe Suri and involves lighting things on fire and yelling. It's really quite great. Traditionally, Iranians create small bonfires in the streets and shout "Zardie man az to, sorkhie to az man," or "May me sickly pallor be yours and your red glow be mine" while jumping over the flames. In doing so, this little act symbolizes the cleansing of all of last year's unpleasantness.

Leading up to Nooruz (my family is guilty of putting this together always the morning of) we set up a Haft-Seen table, or table of 7-things-that-beings-with-the-letter-S. I talked more about what exactly we put and what each item symbolizes in my Iranian New Years post last year, so you can read more about this tradition there!

Nowruz, new year, Iran, iranian, persian new year, nooruz

On the 13th day after the start of spring, or the day of Sizdeh Bedar (Farsi for "getting rid of the 13th") Iranian families take to the parks and spend the entire day outdoors picnicking, dancing, consuming food, and spending time with friends and family. This day is the last day of the holidays and is considered bad luck to be indoors.

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As Iranian New Years is also a time of giving (more specifically a time of ca$h money), I decided to team up with several other bloggers and giveaway $800 (via paypal) to whoever the Rafflecoptor gods deem is most excited about spring (or maybe through algorithms or something).

The giveaway begins right at spring (3/20 5:00 CST ) and ends 4/17 and is open internationally. You can enter using the Rafflecoptor below:


Good luck and سال نو مبارک Saleh Noh Mobarak! (Happy New Years!)

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-share some spring lovin'-

Photo source: (first) shagreen; (second, left) The Tehran Times